In this interview with the visionary duo behind the captivating Pavoni, Mike Derderian, creative director and head designer, reveals that no expense is spared when it comes to fabrics and craftsmanship. Since its inception, Pavoni offers ‘haute couture’ artistry, style and quality at ready to wear prices. Quickly becoming one of the most inspired luxury labels on the market today, the vision of classic elegance fused with a contemporary edge spurred a loyal international following of celebrities and socialites alike. At the tender age of four seasons old, Pavoni showcases seasoned expertise in the world of couture, proving itself a fierce competitor amongst some of the biggest names in the industry.
How did Gianni Falcone & Mike Derderian come to work together to create Pavoni?
It really began as a childhood dream between me and my business partner Gianni, whom I’ve known since high school. We graduated fashion school together, and from that point on we had set a goal to have our own fashion label in the future. This became a reality about 11 months ago as we embarked on this amazing venture in Los Angeles that truly changed our lives. Pavoni was born in the basement of our home, and our first completed dress would mark the turning point in our lives.
Why the name Pavoni?
The word Pavoni means peacock in Italian, a majestic bird that has long been recognized as the symbol of elegance. We aimed to create a line that would distinguish itself as the epitome of sophistication, one that embodies everything a woman should be; delicate yet strong, opulent yet dignified. The Pavoni muse is a woman who, while being tasteful, does not lack the confidence and desire to make a statement when entering a room, a woman who appreciates standing out from the crowd but who does so with refinement and grace.
What materials are used in creating the bespoke gowns?
When it comes to choosing fabrics for any collection, I rely on two of the main five senses; touch and sight. I’ve always preferred using silk chiffons, crepes and satins as I believe that they add a feeling of luxury while staying current with today’s modern fashion trends. Silk tulle is another important fabric for the season, as I was mesmerized by its lightness and its capacity to outline any silhouette regardless of the shape of the body. Lace is surely another one of my favorite materials to work with… I believe that every piece of lace is an artwork in and by itself, whether it is used plain, in any color combination or beaded to highlight its beautiful shapes. It is one of the oldest forms of luxury knitting techniques that has survived the test of time and has become a staple on any runway and present in every woman’s wardrobe. Unlike any other fabric, lace embodies femininity, an expression of a pure form of romantic beauty. I will continue to use it in every collection, and will make it a signature of the house for many seasons to come.
How long does it take to produce one dress?
A Pavoni dress is usually created on an individual order basis. We do not mass-produce our dresses and each is done using very traditional hand finishing techniques that are common within the couture world. A dress can take anywhere from 100 hours of work to 3500 hours of work. The Rose petal dress from the Pre-Fall 2012 collection, for instance, features individually hand-cut silk organza strips; each are molded to shape using a hand iron and placed as individual petals on the surface of the dress covering almost 75 meters of fabric and then encrusted in over 15,000 pieces of Swarovski crystals, hand beaded individually to create shapes of geometric flowers that decorated the dress from the tip of its shoulder all the way to the edge of the train hem line. This dress is by far our most exclusive dress and this would be the example of a dress that took about 3500 hours of work to complete.
What’s the story line for the Fall/Winter 2013 collection?
The Pavoni Fall/Winter 2013 collection takes red carpet dressing to the extreme, and expresses the picturesque and artistic beauty of the Crusades during the 11th-13th century period. With strong details alongside more delicate floral motifs, intricate fabrics like chiffon silks, delicate lace meets dramatic necklace-inspired beading on the dresses. These combinations of details, silhouettes and styles, lend to this collection an incomparable feeling of luxury. It is through the novel arrangement of handmade drapes and cascading fabric, all the way through the uncontested virtuoso of the ball gowns where the collection is sure to create effects of dazzling freshness. The styles magically come to life gowned in luscious colours of Oxblood red, Rosewood, Rose Gold and the elegant and timeless combination of Black and Nude. Highlighted by the beautiful embroideries created by the studio, these powerful gowns turn into soft, yet commanding, masterpieces.
How does Pavoni perceive the Middle Eastern woman?
Middle Eastern women are considered by far to be some of the most beautiful women in the world, and I was lucky enough to be surrounded by them for a big part of my life. I believe that our collections celebrate and embrace women of diverse nationalities and backgrounds. However, having been born in the Middle East region and having a mother of Lebanese origin, these elements brought to my life a different type and level of aesthetic, that which mixes touches of the region’s far reaching history and elegant beauty with a modern international flare creating a type of defiance between Orientalism and the disorienting effects of Modernism. Our collections do not make any obvious equivalence between the Arab culture and that of the rest of the world; on the contrary, the references are selective and are chosen to enhance the general aesthetic. Having had that influence in my life has given me a kind of appreciation for embellishment and hand work, whether in the form of embroidery or the delicate cascades of a silk drape, I believe that it is now a staple and signature aspect in our designs and something that we will continue to use for the future.
For more information, please visit pavonicollection.com.